consequences of excessive population increase (and often of population size) than do the high income, low fertility nations. Our reply to these claims would not be that they need be refuted but that they are essentially irrelevant for policy purposes.
Associated Goals of Family Planning Programs. Governmental family planning programs may have other goals than reducing population growth by lowering birth rates, though this is a prime objective in many less developed countries, particularly in Asia. These other objectives include
1. increasing the ability and freedom of married couples (particularly poor or ignorant ones who do not have access to private medical care) to determine the number and spacing of their children;
2. reducing the number of illegal (and therefore often hazardous or even fatal) abortions by enabling women who do not want to bear a child to substitute safe contraceptive methods for abortion;
3. improving the health of mothers by helping them avoid too many or too closely spaced pregnancies;
4. reducing the number of illegitimate births;
5. protecting the health and welfare of children by persuading and helping parents to limit the size of their families and to lengthen the interval between births; and
6. helping to alleviate poverty by reducing the economic burden on parents created by large numbers of children.
Criteria for Fertility Control Policies
Before adopting a particular policy to reduce fertility, governmental leaders need to ask themselves several kinds of questions, including whether the policy is politically acceptable to most people, how effective it will be, and whether it is economically and administratively feasible. But the most fundamental questions are ethical: Will the policy enhance the freedom of human beings as individuals, and will it advance justice for all human beings as members of society? These two ethical ideals of individual freedom and distributive justice often are, or seem to be, more or less incompatible. The task of lawgivers throughout history has been to strike a workable balance between them. In establishing a population policy, this reconciliation will be best made if the policy proceeds from the following criteria:*
1. allows for freedom and diversity;
2. where possible, fosters other goals worth supporting for their own sake;
3. does not place unnecessary burdens on innocent people, particularly on children;
'•"Bernard Bcrelson, "Beyond Family Planning," Studies in Family Planning, 38, February 1969. pp. 1-16.t population size or growth, is the strategic determinant of a nation's political and economic status internationally.